The more I work with lead pastors the more I realize how hard it is for them to fire a staff person who isn’t performing or isn’t a team player or is just downright disruptive. Too many pastors put up with so much crap from one or two on their staff that they shoot themselves in the foot. They have this desire to save the staff person or they don’t want to hurt their feelings. Often they worry how the person will make a living if fired. They see the individual and don’t see the harm that person is doing to the whole church. They allow their mercy gift to get in the way of their leadership.

Take a look at what this kind of behavior does:

  • It says to competent staff that you really don’t care if the staff demonstrates competency.
  • It says to the staff that you either don’t realize how disruptive or harmful the person is or you don’t have the guts to do something about it.
  • It says to the staff that you aren’t a leader.
  • It causes competent staff to run for the door.

Listen to what Dave Ramsey says in his book, EntreLeadership, about the leader who can’t pull the trigger and fire someone who everyone knows needs to be fired. “My friend John Maxwell says that ‘Sanctified incompetency demoralizes.’ If you allow people to halfway do their jobs and don’t demand excellence as a prerequisite to keeping their job, you create a culture of mediocrity. If you allow people to misbehave, underachieve, have a bad attitude, gossip, and generally avoid excellence, please don’t expect to attract and retain great talent.”

Lead pastors, post this quote on your fridge. Read it every morning before going to the office. Paste it on your desk and read it every time you know you need to fire someone. And be a Nike person – just do it. NOW!!!

Question: How else can you encourage a culture of excellence in your church? Share your ideas in the Comments section below.